Concept Map versus Mind Map

I had written about maps that I use earlier, in the below presentation I distinguish between Mind Maps and Concept Maps and lay out a simple method based on Crandall, Klein et al’s Working Minds. This activity can be done individually or in groups. The test for checking if you have succeeded in teaching the method would be the following
“without the concept map creator explaining are readers of the map able to get the crux of the domain in focus”
the next level
“after the creator explaining, does that lead to more connections internally on the domain in focus”


Context Switching

This is something K Manager job demands.
Making sense of a business demands in depth understanding of context. You do this once, twice, every day. And then increasing scope just means you have increased the number of contexts that you will cater to. That results in gradual loss of relevance to customers and lack of depth in adoption, now all your services are only lip services. Success then on is left to serendipity and that rare person to make sense of a what the “KM people” are saying.
Choice is simple to limit/not the contexts.


Business Relvance for KM

Can we get business relevance as the first step of creating a KM program?
Is the top management ready send a directive that the time needed for the company to get ready for a change in market scenario is way too much (say 1 year) and need a knowledge strategy to help make it quicker?
Strategy group (central function/think tank) decides based on their research, there are several knowledge needs (competence) that the organization lacks even to enter certain markets and geos. Can KM help the organization get there?
Our positioning in a market is too low in the value chain (body shopping / customer managed team augmentation) and the customer businesses are going down (say like point 1 or other super system reasons), as a vendor is there a systematic way to innovate and create new markets for your customer or grow the existing one or cut their costs or whatever that has a $ +. Is this any role of KM?
As the company operations are wide spread across multiple cultures, geos, technologies, markets is it still logical to believe that a centralized decision making function possibly remote will be able to take those decisions quickly and also the right ones?

When I say KM I am not referring “the central KM function” but rather the act of managing both the knowns and unknowns of the company.
Secondly I think it is time we move away from looking at KM as a cost center and all the associated measurements and rather head into making relevance to business and operations.


Branding your KM initiative

In my opinion verbs do better than nouns for any KM initiative as we need actions.
If you are looking for a name for your KM project here are some names that you can run with eKO, Kaplan, Constel, i-sKope, iKode, K Neo, K ware, Deko, Hive, Kde, Koin, Kurrency, Kogen, ekwip, Spark, alchemy, K motor.

I also wrote an MS access db to generate brand names from a list of prefix, suffix and a central syllable, interesting combinations come out but you have to work hard to find the meaning behind.


Knowledge Opportunities

1 .The PSU banking industry is going to face a large scale retirement and there will be a significant knowledge loss from the work force by end 2010.The current retraining, increasing productivity, recruitment processes are not enough for addressing this huge knowledge issue. What can KM processes do to help the bank?

2. The real estate sector has made the leap from horizontal to vertical living space.The people who dwell there are prime candidates to form communities around the needs, interests and concerns that they have. You may not know your neighbour but you will trust him more than you do a stranger on the street, because end of the day he will return to be your neighbour. Trust is not default but a level of it can be assumed in such setting.How can current IM and SM tools help collaboration within this setting catering to different identities and support it background processes and create a lively community?

3. The innovation capacity of educational institutions are usually high and with more than 500000 engineers passing out from the colleges, what are we doing about continuity of knowledge/project/innovation started by one batch to the next as well as having a deep engagement with industry. What can open innovation, open content platforms do to help the country?


Stimulus Agent Model

This is an unfinished concept I tried to visualize what happens when we are flooded with so much information and how we react and make sense of it and respond.

Read it starting from the contextual stimulus to the agent which are people making sense and responding with say a new way of doing something. I have intentionally left out intermediate processes like decision making.
Note reaction chains back to the contextual stimulus


Brain Drain ++

Dr Dan here notes about brain drain, the “process” and the act of “capturing knowledge” with a luxury of time.
The real problems in a “typical” software services company where you do not have much future visibility on either people or the knowledge need are
the above plus
a time compression
and key people leaving repeats itself before the close of a contract (not so often if you are a lucky PM)
This is in addition to trying to optimize a firm for the one $$$ variable (reduce costs) when “billability” is given the most priority over all other parameters (suitability, contextual continuity, quality …) and further brain drain is orchestrated deliberately as well.
Any strategies, suggestions???


Archetype Homework

While I was going through a batch of AAR reports (modified to suit our needs) churned out from completed IT projects, the idea of creating archetypes occured.So I go get my method here , due to lack of participants which would have definitely added to the richness of cluster names,(It became a dull self indulgement exercise over a gloomy weekend) I go on identify clusters and their negative and positive extreme traits. I will call these edge characteristics of any archetype. Group them and there they emerge the archetypes, not exactly. I could not give them the name.
Coming back to my feeds this morning always has a better name for characters. I am going to use these names and one of my own which I will call The TimeKeepers.There they are the changers, the contributors, the coasters and the timekeepers.
I will have to create these somewhere to see if I can ever communicate through them.
I am not sure if the shift from stereotype to archeype has happened here by clustering and extreming the characteristics.


2 KM Definitions

Joe on actKM

“I think Knowledge Management is activity intended to enhance knowledge processing, while Knowledge Science is the “scientific discipline” (whatever that is) attempting to produce the highest quality knowledge about how to seek, recognize, and formulate problems (in the sense of knowledge gaps), produce new knowledge, and integrate that knowledge. So, I think these fields are two different things, but that Knowledge Managers might do Knowledge Science from time to time as part of their KM activities, and that they certainly should support the development of knowledge science since it will greatly support their own work. “

Dave Snowden on CE

“Now don’t get me wrong, the objectives of KM theory and practice persist and will continue to be of great importance. They are clear, simple and important and can be summarised as follows:

  1. To support effective decision making
  2. To create the conditions for innovation”

Phone Chord

The length of phone chord in enabling support engineers to work knowledge effectively has to be applied to AMS projects or in cases where continuity between dev to support teams. So the seating arrangement has to be designed to decrease barriers in face to face communication

From The Social Life of Information